16 April 1998
Strikes threaten Panamas bananas

A STRIKE at the Chiriqui Land Companys Armuelles division threatens to disrupt Panamas banana production this year.

About 4,000 employees of the Chiquita Brands subsidiary stopped work on 19 February. The stoppage has already cost the company $13 million in lost exports.

Their main grievance is the fate of colleagues at the Pacific coast port of Puerto Armuelles. The company wants to end shipments there and instead send bananas to an Atlantic port for easier access to key US and European markets.

Rodolfo Espino, director of the Panamanian Banana Commission, said if the strike lasted much longer it could affect exports into 1999.

  • Financial Times 16/04/98 page 33